It was only a matter of when, not if. Not even COVID-19 and the annual SEMA Show moving to a virtual event could delay the inevitable dawn of the electric crate motor. While the 1977 K5 Blazer-E is a one-off concept build, it previews some form of future package that GM Performance Parts will sell to convert any project vehicle to electric propulsion.
We saw this coming, of course, with the eCOPO Camaro in 2018 and the E-10 pickup from last year (yes, everything needs an “e” in the name to signify electrification, sigh). While those offer some sort of wow factor, with 9-second quarter-mile times for the Camaro and around 450 horsepower in the pickup, the Blazer-E is a little more, well, everyday. It uses the electric motor from the Bolt EV, putting out 200 hp and 266 pound-feet of torque.
Before you bemoan this as some form of weak sauce, consider that the stock engine that Chevy yanked out of the Blazer made a mere 175 hp. More significant is that, while the Blazer-E is a concept, the parts will soon be real. Chevy has already moved to train dealers and shops to be certified installers for the “eCrate” system, starting with Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. And the modularity touted with the E-10 pickup remains; multiple motors and inverters can be stacked in series for more power and torque.